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Bits from the DPL

Hey folks,

At the risk of sounding like a broken record here, apologies for
taking so long to write this. It's been a few too many weeks since I
wrote my last summary. In the last couple of months, I was ill for 3
weeks (as you may have seen from my blog post[1]) and otherwise very
busy. I've been struggling to catch up with everything, but I think
I'm just about there.

So, what's up?

Debconf 8 [2] has been and gone. We had an excellent time in Mar del
Plata, with the usual mix of great technical talks and lots of
socialising. The local orga team put in a huge amount of work to make
the conference happen, and they did astoundingly well. I'm sure there
are places where they'd disagree (*grin*), but as far as I and other
attendees could see everything ran smoothly. Woo!

Due to the typically long travel distance to Argentina (and,
therefore, the high cost of travel), unfortunately many of our
developers could not make the trip this year. However, the video team
did an amazing job this year [3] - a combination of live streams of
all the talks plus volunteers forwarding questions from IRC meant that
people could stay involved despite the distance.

For those of us that did make it down to Argentina, it was great to be
able to meet up with friends old and new, and to have some very useful
technical discussions. As ever, people came away re-invigorated and
inspired with more ideas about what to work on next. We also got to
enjoy some excellent local food, and to paddle or even swim(!) in the
South Atlantic. I'm looking forwards to Extremadura next year
already... :-)

A few more interviews to report on:

 * I met up with Sam Varghese from ITWire when he was in the UK, and
   we had a good chat [4].
 * Bruce Byfield spoke to me and some of our past DPLs about how
   Debian was looking on our 15th birthday [5].
 * Vincenzo Ciaglia from Linux Magazine Italy[6] asked me a wide range
   of questions. I don't see a copy of the article online anywhere, so
   I don't know if it has made into print yet.
 * At Debconf, I sat down with Barton George from Sun for an audio
   interview [7] about how Debian is going.
 * Another general update with Phil Manchester at The Register. [8]

There are a couple more in progress that I'll mention next time once
they're published.

More team updates
Quite a few changes in our core teams to mention since last time. Some
of these have already been announced elsewhere, but I'll summarise

The ftpmaster team has grown, adding Mark Hymers. [9] After many years
of hard work, James Troup has resigned his position in the DAM team
[10]. Martin Zobel-Helas has been invited to help out as part of the
DSA team [11], and to make more time for this new job, he has passed
on his Stable Release Manager position to Phillip Kern [12].

Please join me in wishing good luck to all of those people with their
new responsibilities. Thanks to all of them.

Google Summer of Code 2008
We've had excellent results again this year in the Summer of Code
programme. We were allocated thirteen spaces this year, but some early
problems meant that a couple of our chosen students dropped out even
before they started their projects. Of the remaining eleven who
started the summer with us, all were successful. More details shortly
once we've collected together a final report. Three of the Debian
mentors (me, Daniel Burrows and Dirk Eddelbuettel) will be travelling
to Google HQ for the regular post-SoC summit to join in discussions
about how things went this year and how to improve for next year.

What else am I up to?
Although things may have seemingly gone quiet on that front, I've
continued to work through issues with several of our teams over the
last couple of months. There's still more to do yet, and I'll provide
public updates as and when possible. I'm trying to help as much as I
can, while not wishing to cause major disruption at this point before
the next release.

I've been asked to look into various trademark issues that have been
brought to my attention. It seems that there's quite a bit of work to
be done there, so it may take a while.

What else are *we* up to?
One obvious thing: LENNY! We're due a release candidate from the d-i
team very shortly [13], and elsewhere we're in a deep freeze state
[14] as we make the final push. There's still work to be done, of
course: we have more release critical bugs that should be fixed, and
the more installation and upgrade testing we can do now, the
better. Also, there's always more help needed on finishing off and
translating the Release Notes; please dive in if you can. Let's make
Lenny our best release yet!

[1]  http://blog.einval.com/2008/09/11#still_ill
[2]  http://debconf8.debconf.org/
[3]  http://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/DebConf8/Videoteam/Thanks
[4]  http://www.itwire.com/content/view/19917/1090/
[5]  http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/features/article.php/12297_3765826_1
[6]  http://www.linux-magazine.it/
[7]  http://blogs.sun.com/barton808/entry/an_inside_look_at_debian
[8]  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/25/debian_state_of_nation/
[9]  http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2008/07/msg00001.html
[10] http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2008/08/msg00167.html
[11] http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2008/08/msg00195.html
[12] http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2008/08/msg00196.html
[13] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2008/09/msg00005.html
[14] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2008/09/msg00000.html

Steve McIntyre, Debian Project Leader <leader@debian.org>

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